Gogoi asks for drought action plan

Guwahati, July 30 : The drought-like situation affecting the 27 districts of Assam will leave the state 20 per cent short in sali crop production, prompting the government to ask deputy commissioners to draw up an action plan to make good the loss in the coming rabi season.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi said here this afternoon that he had made the deputy commissioners responsible for coming up with an action plan in consultation with the departments concerned and the farmers.
The government’s response is understandable, as the drought-like situation has affected 15,362 villages, 15.95 lakh families of farmers and 8.69 lakh hectare of crop area.
“I want to decentralise the planning process. It is no use planning for something in Titabor from Dispur,” Gogoi said.
“There has been 31 per cent deficit in rainfall between June 1 and July 28 despite the rain in the last few days. It will see a drop of 20 per cent in Sali crop. But we want to make up the loss of the farmers by coming up with an action plan for rabi cultivation. We have asked the DCs to come up with an action plan at the earliest and prove all kinds of assistance like seeds, diesel, water pumps, free tractors and repair of canals,” he added.
The government has budgeted Rs 128.49-crore assistance package for the farmers so far.
Gogoi has also directed the deputy commissioners to take advantage of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme to improve irrigation and water harvesting system in the district.
The chief minister said he would do away with central purchase of seeds because the distributed seeds are mostly returned as the situation differs from district to district.